What Is A Can Of Copenhagen? 'Serial' Season 2 Episode 2 Mentions The Product As A Morale Booster

On Thursday, Serial Season 2 Episode 2, titled "The Golden Chicken," was uploaded. As goes with most every episode of the podcast, something was mentioned that some listeners might need information about. Near the end of the episode (around the 55-minute mark), Command Sgt. Major Ken Wolfe tells Sarah Koenig about how he helped his battalion keep their morale up when searching for Bowe Bergdahl. One way was with "cans of Copenhagen," which he asked his wife to send over from the states. So, what is a can of Copenhagen?

During the episode, Wolfe says,

I remember talking to a group of guys and I go, "Hey, we don't know everything at this point. We don't know." And then, "This is our mission. He's one of our guys. We gotta find it. We're gonna do it." That was one way. The other way, you know, giving out cans of Copenhagen, telling dirty jokes, putting people in the headlock, that's how you do it.

Copenhagen is a popular brand of smokeless tobacco. It comes in a can, or some might refer to it as a roll. You might even know someone who calls this form of tobacco "snuff" or that they have a "dip" in their mouth. Anyways, one wouldn't think something as simple as a can of tobacco would be a way to boost morale and keep soldiers in high spirits. However, sometimes it's the little things that go a long way, especially when you are beyond exhausted, tired, and feeling a range of emotions searching for a fellow soldier.

Koenig describes Wolfe as someone who can "scare the crap out of you and also hug you in the same encounter." It seems he was willing to do anything to try to keep not only his men moving forward, but also himself, during a time that was both extremely emotional and contentious, and he relied on Copenhagen as one way of doing this.